Hi readers!

I hope you have all been well these past few weeks. This Make the Most of Monday is more of a conversational piece with a very important call for children’s views, so I hope it can be of value to you.

Lockdown can be so strange: one minute you are as productive as ever, doing a workout twice a day, learning 5 new skills and getting 9 hours of sleep every night, and suddenly you’ve not left the house in a week, bingeing tv shows and ordering take out every night (slight exaggeration!). But, as I’ve been finding out from other people, this is completely normal and compares to other working adults' lockdown experiences.

What isn’t so easy to compare at present is how children are finding lockdown. With children being out of school and not able to talk to their friends and adults unable to have their playground chats, it’s almost impossible to understand how kids are feeling across the board.

After these thoughts, I realised it would be great to gather this information as at Children England, we believe children should be at the heart of society, and equally believe children should be at the heart of the recovery process from COVID-19.

With that in mind, I am calling on children far and wide to let me know how their lockdown experiences have been. How have you found lockdown so far? What is it you hope to happen post-coronavirus, and how should society work in the future to best support young people? Now I know these seem like pretty big questions for children and young people, but we thoroughly believe they will have the answers to these questions and so much more.

To put it to the test, I enlisted the help of my 13-year-old niece, Yusra, who lives in Surrey. (That's us in the photo, top right.) And she had plenty to say, including my favourite comments:

‘How have I found lockdown? HELL! I’ve not been able to see my friends in school and it doesn’t feel safe to go outside to see them... I’m lucky I have my baby brothers - my best friend doesn’t have any siblings.’

’My school has only just started doing zoom classes because I’m starting my GCSE’s. Was I not important before that?’

‘I’m scared to go back to school, I pass so many children every day. If one of them has it - that’s it.’

’Breaks need to be longer when we go back to school, they can’t be strict on us because we need time with our friends.’

Some powerful thoughts, right? I feel like the gist of of our conversation was that she doesn’t feel supported during lockdown, and definitely has ideas as to what support is needed once this is all over.

Do the children you know agree? What have they been saying? We really would love to hear as we know that one child’s experience is not representative of children across England, so please do drop me an email of what your young people have been saying to you, or encourage them to email me directly.

That’s it from me today. If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to reach out!